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Heating oil bids please Ridgefield officials

February 15, 2010 The bids are in, and town and school officials are gloating at prices they’ll be paying for heating oil next year: between $2.20 and $2.21 a gallon for the large tank buildings, the schools and the Venus Building; and $2.29 a gallon for mostly town buildings that have smaller tanks requiring more frequent deliveries.

“We got a real good price,” said Town Purchasing Agent Jerry Gay. “The large tank was only a penny and half over our current price, which to me is astonishing.”

The small tank bid came in about a nickel a gallon more.

With the extra decimal places used to refine such bids, the school board’s ‘big tank’ price is $2.205 next year compared to $2.193 this year, according to Mr. Gay, and the town’s ‘small tank’ price is $2.290 next year, compared to $2.243 this year.

The town’s cost will go up at bit and the school board’s will be nearly flat from this year, First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. But price the schools got is less than what was in Superintendent Deborah Low’s budget, which used a guesstimate of $2.60 a gallon for heating oil.

“So from the budget to this is about 40 cents a gallon less, and on 160,000 gallons, you can do the math — about $64,000 saved from their budget,” Mr. Marconi said.

The town cost will go up about $37,000, he said.

The school board will be paying $352,800 for its 160,000 gallons. And the town will pay $171,750 for the 75,000 gallons to be delivered to the smaller tanks.

The schools aren’t contracting now for their entire projected use, in part because there are plans in the works to convert a couple of the schools to natural gas.

The successful bidder was Standard Oil, based in New Haven. The current year’s heating oil comes from Branchville Oil, a local firm.

Overall there were eight bidders, including three Ridgefield firms: Branchville Oil, Casey Fuel and Montanari Fuel.

“All the local guys have helped us out if there’s a shortage,” Mr. Gay said. “...We try to use the local guys whenever we can — it’s just hard for them to compete.”

For the last two years town and schools have been bidding together on heating oil.

“It’s a good time,” John Palermo, a member of the joint town-school energy committee told the Board of Education Monday night. “The price of oil’s come down precipitously.”

National Oilheat Research Alliance ECC is funded in part through the National Oilheat Research Alliance.